This is enough paella for 40 people. I got really carried away. It takes longer than you think and should sit for a while before serving. We were all so hungry by the time I was done, that the chicken didn't really cook through because I was impatient. Patience is truly a virtue in cooking as in life but it is generally not my normal state of mind although I am working on it.
A few things I have learned as I have made paella several times. This time I used lobster tails that had been flash frozen and defrosted them earlier in the day. Before adding them to the mixture, I cut them into 3 pieces and it made for a much easier paella. I also fried up the chorizo earlier in the day, half cooked the chicken ( then put it back in the refrigerator ), sauteed the veggies and rice and then let it hang out on the stove until I was ready to begin. I also mixed together the broth, clam juice and saffron on the stove, warmed it up and let it sit with a top on afterward until ready to use.
The recipe below serves about 6/8 people. As I said, I made way too much but I will say the leftovers over the past few days have been a serious treat. Just to give you an idea how much I made, I used 2 lbs. of rice.
3 cups of chicken broth
2 cups clam juice
large pinch of saffron ( use a little more than you think)
2 large vidallia onions chopped
one red pepper chopped into pieces
one green pepper chopped into pieces
one yellow pepper chopped into piece
8 italian tomatoes chopped into pieces (make sure to squeeze the juice out before chopped)
Large piece of chorizo cut into round pieces (about 1 lb.)
6 chicken thighs
1 lb of large shrimp completely unpeeled including the tail
1 lb of clams (about 8 or more if you really like clams)
1 lb of mussels
3 lobster tails
1 lb of calamari sliced
1 lb. aborrio rice
1 lb. peas
I highly recommend using a paella pan or a big pan that is wider than it is taller. It makes a difference.
Cover the bottom of the pan with olive oil. Brown the chorizo and then remove with a slotted spoon. I also drained the oil and just wiped the pan down with a paper towel before doing the chicken. Otherwise, chorizo takes over.
Add some more olive oil, and then brown the chicken pieces until almost cooked through and take out ( 7 minutes roughly). Remember, everything should go back to the refrigerator, including the defrosted lobster tails until you are ready to use them.
Saute the onions and peppers together until soft in the pan. Add the rice, continue mixing over the heat until completely combined. At this point, you can let this hang out until you are ready to put the whole paella together.
When you are ready, heat the veggies back up again. Add 4 cups of the liquid mixture and bring to a boil, turn down to simmer and cover. In about 10 minutes, peek in and mix. More liquid might be needed.
In a separate pan ( again a deep frying pan ), add another cup or so of the liquid. Bring to boil, then simmer and add in the clams. Put the top on for a few minutes until the clams open. Then remove the clams and add to the rice mixture. Do the same with the mussels, remove, then the lobster, remove. Last is the shrimp and calamari which I put in together for only about a minute, remove and put in the pan. Now all the seafood is in the paella, add back the chorizo, the chicken, the tomatoes, the frozen peas and the liquid you used for cooking the seafood. At one point you might have had to use the one cup that was still set aside, if not just pour it into the paella. Now mix the paella throughly, put the lid on, simmer covered for about 8 minutes or until the chicken is completely cooked through.